What Happened To Satan’s Kingdom After The Resurrection?
With the headlines of Afghan being overrun by the Taliban and the COVID Delta Variance on the rise, these are just two of the recent headlines that could make Christians ask; how powerful is Satan, and how much influence does he have over the world? In these following two articles in August and September, I will attempt to show what Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection accomplished for us and what that means for Satan’s kingdom. With this first article, we will understand the word kingdom, the difference between the two kingdoms, how to enter into God’s kingdom, and for our champion partners, three things about God’s kingdom that affect you today.
The Introduction Defining Kingdom and Understanding The Defeat of Satan’s Kingdom
Our major text exegeted will be Revelation 11:15; nevertheless, many other sections of scriptures are referenced. John records, “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” The major phrase after the Angel sounds the trumpet are the loud voices in heaven. It is what those loud voices are saying that leads to the thesis of this paper. With their statement, we see God’s eternal power and a kingdom transfer acknowledged by these voices. We are seeing the transformative power of God completely toppling the kingdom of this world and ushering in a new age of existence.
The first step is to determine the etymology of Kingdom. Second, we will determine how it was used. The word kingdom is defined as, “king•dom \ˈkiŋ-dəm\ noun before 12th century 1 archaic: KINGSHIP 2: a politically organized community or major territorial unit having a monarchical form of government headed by a king or queen.” The etymology starts all the way back in the 12th century with this word. It is a group of people a king rules; however, as this word is studied, there is another dynamic that we must understand to have the fuller meaning of the word.
There is an abstract meaning to the word kingdom. It does not always refer to a physical piece of land and a physical group of people who are taking residence there eating, living, and working. G.E.Ladd states, “The Kingdom Is God’s Reign. The “Kingdom of God” means primarily the rule of God, the divinely kingly authority. Old Testament Usage. The Hebrew word malekut, like basileia, carries primarily the abstract rather than the concrete meaning.” So, the kingdom of God not only covers His reign on this physical earth but also the abstract location of the unseen realm- better known as the heavenly realm. Here are questions that need to be asked about these two kingdoms spoken about in Revelation 11:15.
First, what are the differences between these two kingdoms before God overtook the kingdom of this world again in Revelation 11:15? Second, how did they diverge? Third who belongs to which Kingdom? Fourth, how do we get access to these Kingdoms? The differences between these two kingdoms are answered by Patrick Fairbairn. He explains the difference by stating, “The kingdom of Satan, it must be remembered, belongs not to the physical but to the moral sphere. The foundation on which it rest is sin; and wherever the occasions and inducements to sin are resisted, there also the devil is worsted—he piles in vain his machinations, his weapons of war have perished.”
Satan’s kingdom refers to the ethical dimension that is in rebellion against God. It did have a consuming hold on the visible and invisible aspects of this world. However, what brought his reign to an end? Humans are influenced by Satan and are held captive doing his bidding this represents his visible influence as we will find out when the second question is answered. However, I would like to explain why I am using past tense descriptors. The cross has demolished Satan’s kingdom; this will be explained in section one after the introduction. He is bound along with his demons and the gates of hell are not prevailing against the kingdom of God. God’s kingdom is a kingdom that is visible and invisible, and it is made up of righteousness, holiness, mercy, and justice. The spirit of God is matriculating believers into the kingdom, and believers are benefitting from Jesus’ victorious resurrection out of the grave; however, it is yet to have fully culminated. This will happen entirely at his physical return. The next question that is asked is: how did these kingdoms diverge?
As one searches and reads the scriptures, the divergences of the two kingdoms came in Genesis 3:6-7. From these two verses, Satan’s Kingdom is beginning to advance against the human race by God’s sovereign control, allowing this to take place through his orchestration of the event. Notice that Satan deceives Adam. This is who Satan is at his core: deceptive. We are reminded of this reality by the Apostles. The Gospel of John reads, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and did not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) So the kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the world, which is influenced and led by Satan, are separate, and his kingdom is based on his broken character; it is built on lies, greed, corruption, and anything unrighteous. The next question answered is: Who belongs to which Kingdom?
This question has been answered partly, but a complete explanation will now be given. Because of the fall found in Genesis, all humans born under our father Adam get citizenship to the dominion/kingdom of Satan. In Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy, he states, “and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:26) The Apostle Paul also refers to his letter to the church in Ephesus, stating, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1-2) Notice this is written after Satan’s kingdom has been defeated in the cross of Calvary. However, he still has, although limited, a sway over those who are rebelliously giving their minds and bodies over to their lust. Notice it references how he keeps them captive by appealing to the desires of their bodies and mind. It also tells where his temporal and limited influence is located- in the air. This is Satan’s realm, the unseen or the air, as this section of scripture references.
Section I Access To The Kingdom Through Christ, Death, Burial, and resurrection
That is how we are tragically given access into Satan’s dominion, but how do we access the Kingdom of heaven that John divinely explained to us in Revelation 11:15. We are exposed to the answer in Matthew 16:18-19. Sir William Smith writes about this text, “The general belief of the fathers was, that the words were addressed to St. Peter as representing the whole church (Vau Espen, de Censur. Eccl. C. 2, 1; Opp. Tom. Iv. Ed. Colon. 1777 Cyprian (de unit. Eccl. C, 4) identifies the power given to St. Peter with that given to all the apostles after the resurrection; it was given in the first instances (he thinks) to one man to indicate more emphatically the oneness of the church, and he proceeds to insist on the oneness of the episcopate.” Because of the crucified lamb and his glorious resurrection, the church has the power to bust the hinges off of the gates of hell as one unified front.
How did Christ’s crucifixion free us from the kingdom of darkness? The Apostle Paul shares with the church in Colossae, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13) It is on the cross that Satan’s reign and jurisdiction over us were broken. At the burial of the Son of God, Satan thought victory was sure, but even there, Jesus went and proclaimed freedom to the spirits of old who had faith in his coming. Read what Apostle Peter writes, “In which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison.” (1 Peter 3:19) It was in the resurrection that Jesus gave the final blow to the serpent of old. The prophecy through Moses in Genesis states, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) The enemy has been defeated by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Merrill C. Tenney states, “The teaching of Jesus is equally a sign of the presence of the kingdom. By proclaiming the kingship of God, Jesus made it possible for men to turn from their sin, own his kingship and receive the blessing of his rule.” Jesus taught with authority because he knew the victory through his obedience to the father. It is faith in what he did on that cross that gives you access to the Kingdom of God. You are snatched from the broken hinges of Hell’s gates because they did not hold up under the force of the achievement of the cross. This is one benefit of the cross. Nevertheless, in section two, we will see the complete dismantling of the jurisdiction of Satan’s kingdom- in the next article. It was understood in this article what the word kingdom means, how the two kingdoms diverged, and how a person has access to God’s kingdom.
The remaining part of the article will be exclusively for our monthly champions. If you want to learn how to become a monthly champion to receive extended articles, podcasts, and videos, go to gospelgm.com/community/ to find out more.
The Champion Partners – Three Things About God’s Kingdom That Affect You Today